Future Threats in Niagara If Urban Boundaries Expanded: Voice Your Opposition

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

***Scroll down to reach out to local councilors

From John Bacher: 

It is an old but true saying that photographs express threats to the natural world more vividly than the most eloquent warning. Some of these images recently emerged, which captured the beauty of the portion of the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, on the eve of its destruction for a subdivision.

Most of the Thundering Waters Forest is protected for now, as a provincially significant wetland, it continues to healthily grow. However, recently about five per cent of this Carolinian refuge was brutally bulldozed into oblivion. It should serve as a warning for the fate of natural areas in Niagara and other areas threatened by the bullying of the provincial government in Ontario on municipalities to expand their urban boundaries. 

Urban boundary expansions in Niagara and throughout the Carolinian zone in southern Ontario must stop now — as has been secured in Hamilton and the Halton region. 

The images reveal healthy forest originally planted around 80 years ago, as a White Pine reforestation project, as well as a rare tree — the wild Honey Locust. They reveal a different story than the nonsense found in Environmental Impact Studies’ (EIS) reports. These claimed that the lush, vigorous forests were combinations of dead and dying ash trees, and a tangled jungle of invasive exotic buckthorns.

Beneath the towering pines, as intended by the foresters such as Edmund Zavitz, who undertook ecological restoration here, mixed woodland was evolving. The ground cover was composed of Pin Oak seedlings, the same species that flourished here before the area was disrupted in the 1920s by Ontario Hydro. 

The thorny rare Honey Locust tree is a rare species in Ontario, which in EIS studies. It was denied being found in the land recently cleared for the Riverfront development. Six Honey Locusts were then bulldozed into the dust, since regional and city officials refused to recommend to council that the plan of subdivision be changed, even though it was influenced by errors in the EIS. 

It is important to communicate your opposition to all the planned urban boundary expansions to all of the Niagara Regional Councilors by April 28, when the Statutory Public Meeting is being held on this topic under the Planning Act. You can also address the meeting via Zoom if you contact the Niagara Region by April 27 (the day before the meeting), via the Clerk at ann-marie.norio@niagararegion.ca.

Please contact these city councillors by April 28, before a vote will take place on the attempt to expand urban boundaries in Niagara. The full list of councilors can be found here and down below. 


From Danny Beaton: 

My wife always said "Never kill a living tree for firewood. Make sure you are cutting fallen trees that are dead before you cut anything for firewood." So whenever I am on the road and with friends, we look for dead trees for making fire. All you need to do is look at the forest and you can spot a dead tree by the colour or by the leaves. 

When John talks about trees he understands the forest and creatures living in them, not just from years of research, but from being in the forests throughout his lifetime. Having to testify in council and court his entire adult life for forests has made John an expert forest witness by the Ontario Government when they use John for their advantage. But when the shoe is on the other foot and John is defending tree cutting by government permits, his credibility is not significant or enough to stop urban expansion. 

What lawyers would call this type of testimony in court is selective thinking, selective opportunism or corruption.      

The same goes for the water. The environment is being managed and protected by the appointed officials doing their responsibilities as environment protection officials. 

No one knows better than the chief architect of the Green Belt, Victor Doyle, who knows urban planners, scientists and engineers need to work together if Mother Earth is to be protected and saved. If all the urban planners had the same ethics and concern for the environment, we would not be in a crisis. 

Today, Niagara, Simcoe and Dufferin County are using their lawyers to seek permits in expanding urban boundaries and Mother Earth is under constant attack. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, we elders and environmentalists urge you and your families to support any struggles that are taking place in your area. 

When I was young, all I needed to do was pick up The Globe and Mail or Toronto Star and there would be environmental struggles taking place everywhere. All I had to do was choose which struggle to support. 

Mother Earth is a sacred lady and shares her body with us Human Beings so we can survive and drink her blood: the water. Indigenous elders and people are fighting for her all across Canada and the USA. All life species need our positive energy and support. 

Dr John Bacher is doing everything in his means to stop the madness happening throughout Ontario. Let’s follow his wisdom and the footsteps of Victor Doyle. In the Spirit of my Ancestors, thank you all for listening!

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